Joy Prevails

Poached Eggplant with Spicy Korean Sauce

Poached Eggplant with Spicy Korean Sauce

Time for /52weeks!  This week was a real challenge, since I’ve had Korean maybe once before and had never attempted to cook it.  Luckily I have a few vegetarian cookbooks that include ethnic cuisines and found a great base recipe in Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian.  After Googling a few of the ingredients, and trying to figure out how I could get the same general flavor without the lemon juice or peanut oil.  I also debated on how to best cook the eggplant, either the poached in the original recipe or the steamed version that was suggested.  In the end I decided to go poached since I have never done that before, and might as well go all new!

Joy Prevails

Serves 4-5


1 lb Chinese eggplant, cubed

1/2 cup water

2 tbsp vegetable oil

3 spring onions, chopped (divide the white and green sections)

3 shallos, minced

1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, shredded

1 tbsp canola oil

1/2 tbsp sesame oil

2 tsp Chili Bean paste (original called for kochu jang which I could not find so used toban djan instead which seemed to be very similar based on ingredients and what Google told me kochu jang was)

2 tsp rice wine vinegar

1/3 cup water

1 1/2 tsp soy sauce


  1. Place the eggplant in a large frying pan and cover with water halfway up. Bring to a quick boil, then cover and allow to simmer for 20 minutes, turning three times to ensure even cooking. Drain and set aside,
  2. Meanwhile heat up the vegetable oil and add the white sections of the spring onion along with the shallots and ginger. Cook for 5 minutes, the shallots should start to turn golden.
  3. While the shallot mixture cooks stir together the canola oil, sesame oil, chili bean paste, rice wine vinegar, water, and soy sauce.
  4. Pour the oil into the frying pan with the shallots, then add the green sections of the spring onion. Mix well before pouring over the eggplant. Serve over rice!

This sauce is amazingly versatile, when I do this again I plan to double the sauce and add some fried or baked tofu to the mix.  I think it would also go well with rice or buckwheat noodles instead of the rice – just to be a little different.  This challenge just proved once again that trying out new techniques and styles can be very tasty!  Also, be sure to check out World Vegetarian for the recipe that inspired this dish